While the overall London rate went down, Ealing was one of the few success stories after recording an increase.
Amey was the sole waste and recycling collection contractor during 2015-16, and is continuing with source-separated collections at bring banks and flats. But in June last year, the council signed a shared-revenue contract with Viridor to process mixed dry recycling.
Under the new arrangements, Viridor makes alternate weekly collections (AWCs) of residual waste and commingled recycling. It will continue to collect food waste every week.
It is the first time the council has taken commingled recycling from households, having previously collected plastics separately.
A percentage of the value of the recyclables sent to a Viridor MRF are now used to offset the cost to the council of using the facilities.
Keith Townsend, executive director for environment and customer services, said: “We are delighted that residents helped us to buck the trend last year, and we saw a significant rise in our recycling rate at a time when [that of] many boroughs dipped.
“Early indications are that we are doing even better this year, with rates consistently topping 50% since we launched our AWC service, with continued weekly food collections.
“We have worked really hard to make recycling as easy as possible for residents and now an increasing proportion of them are recycling more of their waste.
“We’ve carried out door-knocking and outreach work and events to ensure residents are aware of how to recycle and why they should do it.
“We’ve also expanded our scheme to make more recycling services available to flats and are continuing to collect Christmas trees for free from the doorstep.”